Scientists Urged to Sign Pro-Biotechnology Declaration
Contact: Dr.C.S. Prakash at email@example.com
TUSKEGEE, ALABAMA July 6, 2000-The International Society for Plant Molecular
Biology's board of directors unanimously voted to endorse AgBioWorld's
"Declaration in Support of Agricultural Biotechnology." At the Society's
Sixth International Congress, held last week in Quebec City, Canada, the
board officially urged the Society's 1,800 members around the world to
sign the AgBioWorld Declaration, drafted by Professor C.S. Prakash of
Members of the International Society for Plant Molecular Biology (ISPMB)
will join more than 2,700 other scientists, who have already added their
signatures to the AgBioWorld Declaration. Notable signatories include
Nobel Prize winners Norman Borlaug and James Watson, and such highly regarded
agriculture and health experts as World Food Prize winner Gurdev Khush,
immunologist Hilary Koprowski, cancer researcher Bruce Ames, and Golden
Rice developer Ingo Potrykus. Leon Dure, treasurer of the ISPMB, noted
that the Society has members in 78 countries, 12 of which are represented
by its board of directors.
Professor Prakash thanked the Society's board of directors and applauded
the ISPMB decision, saying that, "It's important for respected members
of the scientific community to counter the unfounded attacks that anti-biotech
activists are spreading about these products." Prakash added that, "Biotechnology
is powerful and safe technology that can contribute substantially to agriculture,
health care, and the environment. Despite the nonsense being spread by
anti-biotech activists, this technology can actually improve environmental
conditions while helping to boost world food production."
"There is no scientific reason to believe that genetically-engineered
foods are any less safe than the foods we've been eating for centuries,"
said Professor Prakash. "Consequently, we in the scientific community
have felt a need to debunk many of the myths surrounding the technology."
Dr. Prakash also commended the 1,200-member Society for In Vitro Biology
for endorsing its own statement in support of agricultural biotechnology
at its annual meeting in San Diego two weeks ago.
The text of the "Declaration in Support of Agricultural Biotechnology"
and a list of signatories can be viewed at the www.AgBioWorld.org
web site, established by Dr. Prakash to share information with policymakers,
reporters, and members of the public. Information about the International
Society for Plant Molecular Biology can be found at the ISPMB web site
or by contacting Dianne Anderson at 1-706-542-3239. For more information
about the AgBioWorld Declaration, please contact Gregory Conko, Director
of Food Safety Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, at 1-202-331-1010,
or Professor C.S. Prakash at firstname.lastname@example.org.